Lowe Hopes to Restart Streak

The Dodgers winning streak, 11 of 12 games and 12 of their last 14, came crashing down under the burden of a 12-1 NY Mets avalanche and the team welcomed a day off. Tonight they host the Houston Astros with Derek Lowe gunning for his third win of the season. Houston has been nearly as hot as the Dodgers and are 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the Central Division.

The Dodgers cut four games off the Arizona lead during the streak and trail by 3 1/2 games but at the same time, the other three teams in the National League West have fallen on hard times.

The standings after Thursday's games:
 Team	         w -l    pct   gb
Arizona	        23-12   .657   --
Los Angeles	19-15   .559   3.5
San Francisco	14-21   .400   9.0
Colorado	14-21   .400   9.0
San Diego	12-23   .343  11.0
Beginning April 21, the Dodgers have been a Major League-best 12-4, 1/2 games better than Houston, which owns a 11-4 record in that span. The Dodgers also have a .301 batting average (169-for-562) and a big league-best 105 runs scored beginning April 21.   

Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the New York game, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. The reigning National League Player of the Week is batting .400 (20-for-50) with two homers, 19 RBI, 10 runs scored, eight stolen bases, and a .630 slugging percentage during the streak. The Oklahoma native is one steal shy of matching his career high of 10 thefts, set last season.  

In the second game of the Mets series, surprising rookie third baseman Blake DeWitt hit the first Dodger inside-the-park home run since Dave Roberts on Aug. 9, 2003. Over his last four contests, DeWitt is 6-for-13 with two homers, five RBI, and four runs scored. The homer was the 36th inside-the-park home run in Los Angeles Dodger history  

The Dodger bullpen has contined to dominate and over the club's last 11 games, the bullpen has posted a 1.47 ERA (7 ER/43 IP). During that stretch, the ‘pen is 5-0 while limiting the opposition to a .197 batting average and fanning 9.9 batters per nine innings.  

Starters for the first game of the Houston series:
RHP Derek Lowe (2-2, 3.66 ERA) vs RHP Brian Moehler (0-0, 7.04 ERA).?

?Lowe was roughed up in his last start, but that should come as no surprise because he has always had trouble in the thin air of Denver's Coors Field. He needed 51 pitches to get out of the first inning and 43 pitches to record an out, running his record in Colorado to 2-4. Lowe is 2-2 in his career against the Astros.

Moehler is scheduled to make his first start since Sept. 29, 2006, when he was with the Marlins. The right-hander has appeared in five games for the Astros this season and allowed six runs on 11 hits and three walks over 7.2 innings. He started for the Marlins in 2006, making 21 starts and compiled a 7-11 record with a 6.57 ERA.

?Saturday: Chad Billingsley, 2-4, 4.54) vs. Chris Sampson, 1-3, 7.96)

Sunday: Hiroki Kuroda, (1-2, 3.95) Shawn Chacon, 0-0, 3.60).

?Monday: Open date.

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